Monday, September 15, 2008

Entertainment: Backward Glances (2)

Topic: The Ziegfeld Follies 1907-1914 #2

1911 marked the first time that Raymond Hubbell, Jerome Kern, and Irving Berlin were commissioned to write special music for the series. Irving Berlin's songs were "Woodman, Woodman Spare That Tree". Leon Errol was the new comedian of the season, he specialized in wobbly legs, and became a Follies favorite.

The Ziegfeld Follies continued to be in the Jardin de Paris atop the New York theatre, renamed the Ziegfeld Moulin Rouge. "Row, Row, Row" was the year's song hit. Bert Williams, now a Follies regular, was more lively than ever and this time sang "My Landlady," "You're on the Right Road But You're Going the Wrong Way," and "Blackberrying Today". From vaudeville came a new singer. Rae Samuels, who was labeled a "blue-streak personality." She'd belt out a song and for added zip would punch the scenery with her fist to send a point home.

In this 1912 edition, Gene Buck tried his hand at a big production number featuring Lillian Lorraine. It was called "Daddy Has A Sweetheart and Mother is her Name" and over $5,000 was spent for the number on costumes alone.

In 1913 the Ziegfeld Follies moved into the New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd street, where it was to enjoy its greatest popularity. Ann Pennington joined Ziegfeld in 1913, an became one of his strongest dancing personalities. Dimpled knees and long tresses were her trademark. A new comic, Frank Tinney, joined the Follies that season. He was a very popular comedian of the city. Also in 1913 Flo divorced Anna Held. She said there was no point in having a marriage, with all those girls at his beck and call.

1914 was the last of the early Follies. On April 11, 1914 Billie Burke became Mrs. Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr. in Hoboken, N.J.. (27)

Sources Utilized to Document Information


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